When you hire a home birth midwife, you are getting so much more than just a care provider. You are getting direct access to me to ask questions or share concerns. My clients have my direct phone number so they get me instead of an answering service or voicemail system. When you hire a home birth midwife, that midwife alters her life during the time she is on call. I don't travel more than an hour away from my home, and if it appears labor may happen soon, I often will limit my travel radius to only around town. I will change plans at the last minute, break commitments and sometimes miss family events and celebrations.
Being a midwife costs me personally. There are the tangible costs such as equipment, supplies, education, maintaining certifications, maintaining a reliable car, having a cell phone, computer, internet etc. There are also intangible costs such as my time, ability to commit to events with family and friends, hoping I don't have to miss or reschedule doctor appointments that can't wait and scheduling all my regular health care appointments during my planned time off, as well as not being able to travel outside the area. There is behind the scenes time spent researching the answer to a client's question, keeping up with the latest recommendations and research, filing required documentation with the state, maintaining my equipment so it is ready for a birth, and much more.
Being a midwife has value which can be seen in the tangible aspects, but the biggest value in my opinion is in the intangible aspects. What is it worth to have 24/7 access to your provider, to know your provider will be close by and ready to drop everything and come at a moment's notice regardless of what they are doing?
I value myself as a midwife and I love serving clients who recognize my value as a midwife.